An excerpt from my new book, The Bible Is Not Enough: Imagination and Making Peace in the Modern World (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2023). A sketch of the meaning of the term peace in the New Testament reveals that God is a God of peace, the message is a gospel of peace, the gospel makes peace with God, and thus believers are to pursue peace among themselves and with others. Paul greets his churches with peace and Paul reminds the Corinthians—with whom he had at least a strained relationship— that the Christian calling is to live in peace. One of the most important visions of the early Christians is found in Ephesians 2, when Paul says Christ is himself the peace that unites gentiles with Jews. That theme expands to cosmic peace in another letter of Paul’s, the one to the Colossians.
I married into a Mennonite family, having been raised Baptist/Methodist, and that was the first time I encountered a theological understanding of peace that impacts how you live in the world. I have been changed by my association with Anabaptist thinking.
Most excellent Scott , thank you 🙏🏼 . May I share some of today’s article of course citing you?
I am so excited to read this! As someone who regards highly the authority of Scripture and ministers in that context, the title is provocative. Knowing this is also a value of yours, I am curious, of all the title possibilities, how and why you chose this? I do believe as disciples Scripture is not the only component of our discipleship. And I appreciate the call to becoming creative.
You have given me much to ponder. I was particularly impacted by the statement, "Jesus proves a peaceful imagination can be improvised in nonviolent disruption." So true.